Starmount's Sunrise Service

I would like to invite you to mark your calendars for Easter Sunday, April 21st.  I know that might seem like a strange request, as you probably already have your calendars marked for this important day.  Perhaps I should be more specific.  I would like to invite you to mark your calendars for 6:30am on Easter Sunday, April 21st to join us for an outdoor sunrise service.
The tradition of a sunrise service on Easter morning can be traced back to the practice of holding vigil overnight during Holy Week from Saturday to Sunday.  This practice was called “The Great Vigil of Easter” and it would include: “lighting the new fire and the paschal candle; reading and telling of the mighty acts of God; baptizing persons into the body of Christ; renewing baptismal vows for the entire community of faith; retelling the story of our Lord’s dying and rising; and celebrating the Eucharist as a foretaste of the messianic banquet in the kingdom of God.”[1]   This service would continue all throughout the night and end with the celebration of the resurrection at dawn’s first light.
The tradition of an all-night vigil may not be commonplace any longer, but the Easter sunrise service is a staple of many congregations.  This year Starmount will participate in this wonderful Easter tradition by gathering together outside of our sanctuary in the light of the dawn to welcome the risen Christ.
We will gather at 6:30am for a brief 30 minute service.  Attendees are encouraged to dress casually and appropriate for the weather.  You are invited to bring a lawn chair, stadium seat, or picnic blanket if you wish to be seated during the service.  Donuts and coffee will be available following the service as we fellowship together.
One last highlight of this service is that it will include a butterfly release.  The butterfly is a traditional symbol of resurrection and new life, therefore a butterfly release is a wonderful way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Be on the lookout around the Narthex, as we will find a place to display our caterpillars so that we can follow their transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly each week.
In Christ,
Charlie Lee
[1] Peter C. Bower, ed.  The Companion to the Book of Common Worship.  Geneva Press: Louisville, KY 2003

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